The United States has warned that the time for talk over North Korea was “over”, rejecting a UN response to Pyongyang’s latest ICBM launch in favour of bomber flights and further missile defence system tests.
Nikki Haley, US envoy to the United Nations, said there was “no point” holding an emergency Security Council session, warning that a weak council resolution would be “worse than nothing”.
Kim Jong-Un recently boasted of his country’s ability to strike any target in the USA following an ICBM test on Friday.
On Saturday, US strategic bombers flew over the Korean peninsula in a pointed show of force, and yesterday (Sunday, July 30) America successfully tested a missile interception system that will be installed in South Korea.
Under Kim’s leadership, North Korea has accelerated its drive towards a credible nuclear capability, in defiance of international condemnation and numerous UN sanctions. The US Senate passed further sanctions on Friday.
Mrs Haley urged China, Japan and South Korea to tighten the screws on Pyongyang.
“An additional Security Council resolution that does not significantly increase the international pressure on North Korea is of no value,” she wrote.
“It sends the message to the North Korean dictator that the international community is unwilling to seriously challenge him.
“China must decide whether it is finally willing to take this vital step. The time for talk is over.”
“Foolish past leaders”
Earlier, President Trump warned that he would not allow China to “do nothing” about Pyongyang.
In two tweets, Trump linked trade strains with the Asian giant to policy on North Korea, after Seoul indicated it could speed up the deployment of a US missile defence system that has infuriated China.
“I am very disappointed in China. Our foolish past leaders have allowed them to make hundreds of billions of dollars a year in trade, yet they do NOTHING for us with North Korea, just talk,” Trump wrote.
“We will no longer allow this to continue. China could easily solve this problem!”
Trump has repeatedly urged China to put pressure on North Korea, but Beijing insists dialogue is the only way forward.
Shinzo Abe, the prime minister of Japan, has also urged Beijing to act after telephone talks with Trump earlier today.
The North had “trampled all over” efforts to seek a peaceful solution to the situation and “unilaterally escalated” tensions, he said.
“The international community including China and Russia must take it seriously and step up pressure,” he told reporters.
A warning to the USA
Pyongyang lauded the developers of the missile at the weekend, the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported.
The US-led campaign only provided “further justification” for the North’s resolve to maintain its weapons programmes, Pyongyang’s foreign ministry said in a statement.
The ICBM test “is meant to send a stern warning to the US making senseless remarks, being lost to reason in the frantic sanctions and pressure campaign against the DPRK,” it said.
Pacific Air Forces commander General Terrence O’Shaughnessy called Pyongyang “the most urgent threat to regional stability.”
“If called upon, we are ready to respond with rapid, lethal and overwhelming force at a time and place of our choosing,” he said.